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In Western news accounts, Kashmir is invariably described as an important piece in a longstanding geopolitical puzzle. It is identified as the axis of relations between India and Pakistan, a “nuclear flashpoint” that could spark an unthinkable war in South Asia. While these characterizations are accurate, they overlook the intrinsic value of Kashmir as an entity in itself, as well as the human story of a long-ignored war that is slowly destroying one of the world’s most exquisite cultures.

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